HIS BLOOD BE UPON US
Nothing can give us so vivid an idea of sin and its consequences, of man’s rebellion and ingratitude towards God, as the contemplation of the Son of God bathed in His Blood, a victim of the wrath of the Father, paying the debt of sin. And there is no means so powerful to show man the malice of sin, to lead him back to God, to imbue him with a sense of responsibility and gratitude and to fill him with a love of his Redeemer, as the Blood of Christ, the Blood of the Atonement. That you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the conversion of Israel, and strangers to the testament, having no hope of the promise, and without God in this world. But now in Christ Jesus, you, who some time were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Ever since St. Peter, having denied his Master, saw the blood-stained countenance of Jesus, and went out and wept bitterly, millions of hardened hearts have been softened into repentance by the bloody wounds in our Saviour’s body.
When Abel lay bleeding on the open field, the enormity of sin for the first time became suddenly apparent in all its hideousness. It was the first death. Abel had paid the first wages of sin. And the Lord said to Cain: What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother s blood crieth to me from the earth. But listen to St. Paul opposing the Blood of the Son of God appealing for mercy, to that of the son of Adam crying for vengeance: But you are come to Jesus, the mediator of the New Testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel. Joseph had been sold into Egypt. But Reuben, one of his brethren, knew full well that they did not dare to appear in the sight of their father Jacob, without his favorite son Joseph. And they took his coat, dipped it in the blood of a kid, which they had killed and to the father they said, see whether it be thy son s coat, or not. The father acknowledged it saying: It is my son s coat, a beast hath devoured Joseph. How often have we sold our soul to the Israelites of this world for spices and balm and myrrh? In fact many sacrifice everything nowadays to the spirit of commercialism. Do we realize at all times that we dare not appear before our Heavenly Father without the wedding garment of His favorite Son impressed upon our soul, without the wedding garment of habitual grace?
What shall we do, disfigured by sin as we are? Ah, let us look up to our Lord covered with Blood dripping from His thorn crowned head, from His hands and feet pierced with large nails, from His side opened by a lance and exclaim, See, Father, whether this be Thy Son or not. Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine press? Jesus, the Lamb, was slain purposely that we might dip our garments in His Blood flowing in the sacraments and thus be made fit to be presented to God the Father. And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. Our Heavenly Father might well say, a wild beast has indeed torn My child, sin has left its scar on My image and likeness, but it is covered with the purple robe of My Son in whom I am well pleased. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Apoc. XXII, 14). Judas seemed to feel the malice of sin all the more when he remembered this Blood of love and mercy, as he cried out: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. Pilate felt his guilt more deeply and quailed before this Blood of the Atonement, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man But the wild mob before Pilate s court screamed with hatred towards the Blood of Christ, whose power they seemed to feel with crushing effect, when they exclaimed: His blood be upon us and our children. By this expression the Jewish race rejected the Blood of the New Testament, for which all antiquity had sighed by the voice of the Prophets. By our devotion to the Precious Blood we step into the breach, and proclaim ourselves true followers of Jesus Christ. When two currents of air of a high and low pressure meet, they produce rain: when the wave of Jewish hatred met the impulse of our Lord s love on the Cross, the fountains of mercy opened and poured forth the Blood of our Redemption. The Precious Blood was trampled underfoot all during the Passion by Jew and Gentile, and should not we, Christ s dearly bought children, want to offer reparation for the horrible desecration of the Price of our Redemption? Let us, then, raise a counter cry to that of the Jewish people and say with profound veneration: His Blood be upon us indeed and upon our children, but in grace and benediction! There is not one soul who could not say with St. Paul: He has loved me and has given Himself over for me.